Swarms of desert locusts fly up into the air from crops in Katitika village, Kitui county, Kenya Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Desert locusts have swarmed into Kenya by the hundreds of millions from Somalia and Ethiopia, countries that haven't seen such numbers in a quarter-century, destroying farmland and threatening an already vulnerable region. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Two Spraying Planes Joins Country’s Locust Fight, Another Will Arrive Today

ADDIS ABEBA – Ministry of agriculture has announced the arrival of two spraying plans on Tuesday while another one expected to arrive today.

Late last week, officials said at least five plans could join in the fight afainst locust swarms following massive desert swarm locust tumble down on several parts of Ethiopia

Minister of Agriculture Umer Hassen, who was visiting areas invaded by the locust in Eastern Ethiopia, announced the arrival of the two plans via his social media on Tuesday.

“Two plans have come in and another will arrive at Komblocha city tomorrow,” he twitted on Tuesday.
The locust swarm has damaged more than 600 hectare of agricultural products from the 13.8 million hectare cultivated land in the rainy season.

The Ministry said the rainy season has created a favorable condition to the locust swarm that entered to the country via Somali Land.

Officials said shortage of spraying planes and two plane crashes have impeded the fight against the swarms – forcing many to employ traditional swarm controlling method.

The remaining five spraying planes, supported by vehicles and manpower, are currently engaged in the fight.

Officials also insisted that there “is no shortage of chemicals, clothing and other materials for spraying”.

While the state treated about 57,000 hectares in September, surveys show hundreds of thousands of hectares are infested.

Locusts can cover as much as 150 kilometers (93 miles) a day and a swarm of about 40 million to 80 million locusts will destroy crops sufficient to feed 2,500 people for a year, according to the FAO.